Learning to sing in a new key: a Hive Poetry Day with Kathryn Bevis

Learning to sing in a new key: A Hive Young Writers poetry day with Kathryn Bevis
Saturday 11th February 10.30am to 4pm (with refreshments & lunch break)
Open to young writers (aged 15 to 30) in South Yorkshire & the nearby

“…like the womb around an embryo”

In the words of poet Tony Hoagland, “In many poems, voice is the mysterious atmosphere that makes it memorable, that holds it together and aloft like the womb around an embryo.”

How do poets find their own voice and then learn to escape it? How do we shapeshift to inhabit other voices, transform ourselves by using the poem as a space to dress up, borrowing the voices of other people, creatures, and objects? And how do we use poetic voice to create intimacy with our readers?

Join prize-winning poet, Kathryn Bevis for this relaxed and playful poetry-writing workshop day, open to young writers at all levels, full of weird and wonderful prompts and games designed to get you thinking (and writing) out of the box.

We’ll discuss a range of poems that are memorable because of the way they use voice, and you’ll leave the session with new music buzzing in your ears, new ways of listening to yourself and the world around you, and plenty of drafts of new poems to draw your readers in. Kathryn will also read from her own work and give tips and tricks on what’s helped her develop as a poet.

Cost: £6 | Booking: info@hivesouthyorkshire.com
Where: Cantor Building, Arundel Street, Sheffield (4 minutes from the train station)

 Kathryn Bevis is a poet and poetry teacher, former Hampshire Poet Laureate, and founder of The Writing School Online. She is the Selected Poet for Magma (the Solitude issue) and her poems have appeared widely in magazines and journals, including: Poetry Wales, Poetry Review, Poetry Ireland ReviewThe London Magazine, and Mslexia. They have also featured on BBC Radio 4. Kathryn’s poems have won the Poets & Players Competition, the Against the Grain Competition, co-won the Mairtín Crawford Award for Poetry and the Poetry Society Member’s Competition. and won first and second prize in the Second Light Poetry Competition. Kathryn designs and delivers poetry workshops for adults online and in mental health settings, substance-misuse recovery settings, and prisons. Flamingo is her debut pamphlet, published by Seren.

Congratulations Foyle Young Poets of the Year 2022

Huge congratulations to 15-year-old Isabelle Pollard of Rotherham Young Writers – one of the 15 winning poets of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year 2022! Lola Forbes-Egan (for our Mixing Roots project) was also highly commended in the competition. Both follow in the footsteps of previous winners from our South Yorkshire groups including Georgie Woodhead, Lauren Hollingsworth Smith & Claire Carlile.

More than 6,600 poets aged 11-17 submitted over 13,500 poems into this year’s competition. Young people from 100 countries entered the competition from as far afield as Nepal, Panama and Serbia, and 98 percent of postcodes in the UK.

This year’s poet-judges Anthony Anaxagorou and Mona Arshi had a difficult job choosing the top 100 winners, with Anthony saying,

“The extraordinary range and breadth of the writing in this year’s Foyle Young Poets competition slowed our reading down, asked us to inhabit a pool of poetics and voices, while encouraging us to think about tomorrow’s poetry in fresh and innovative ways.”

Judge Mona Arshi added, “It was both a pleasure and a privilege to judge this year’s Foyle competition. We were impressed by the sheer variety of approaches as well the diversity of forms employed… Many poems we encountered vibrated with truth and wonder, so many poems employed a slant glaze to arrive at a simple universal emotional truth.”

Huge congratulations to the top 100 winning poets, who were announced at London’s National Theatre on 4 November 2022 at the first in-person ceremony for the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award since 2019.

You can read the winning poems here
Massive thanks to The Poetry Society for all you do to support and encourage poets of all ages! 

Freya Bantiff wins the Bridport Prize Young Writers Award

A huge congratulations to Freya Bantiff, joint winner of the Bridport Prize Young Writers Award 2022, along with co-winner Nicole Adabunu.

The Bridport Prize is made up of several categories across fiction and poetry. The Young Writers Award offers £500 to the highest-placed writer/s aged 16 to 25 in Poetry, Short Story, Flash Fiction and Novel. The winning piece/s will feature in the Bridport anthology, which opens doors with literary agents and publishers. It also accesses other competitions not available to the public.

Judge Inua Ellams said of Freya’s winning poem ‘Working Debenhams’ Late Shift’ “A gorgeous poem that begins as a critique of hyper–capitalist retail tradition, then grows to a tender portrait of a young woman’s relationship with her father.”

Freya Bantiff is a poet and fiction writer from Sheffield. A member of Hive Poetry, she has placed in a wide range of competitions including joint-first prize in the 2022 Bridport Poetry Prize (18-25s), and winning the Canterbury Poet of the Year Competition 2021, the Bedford Poetry Competition 2021, the Walter Swan Poetry Prize 2020 (18-25s) and the Timothy Corsellis Poetry Prize in 2017. Freya’s poems and stories have been placed in Dear Life anthology (Hive 2022), the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award (2021), Mslexia Flash Fiction Competition (2020), the Ilkley Literature Poetry Festival (2010–2015) and Foyle Young Poet of the Year (2015).

Our Young Writers Groups (14-19)

sept added correct

Spit out your Script! With Stacey Sampson

Full | waiting list (get in touch)
Spit out your Script! A Hive Young Writers’ Day
All experience levels welcome | For young people aged 15-25
Saturday 29th Oct | 10.30 for 10.45 start to 4/4.15pm (with dinner break/refeshments)
Cantor Building, Arundel Street, Sheffield (4 minutes from the train station)
Cost: £6 / £4.50 concessions | booking: info@hivesouthyorkshire.com

Got a great idea for a script, but aren’t sure how to get it onto the page? Or are you seeking inspiration to get started? Perhaps you want tips and tricks for sending your scripts out into the world? Join inspirational Sheffield actor and theatre/screen-writer Stacey Sampson to explore the myriad ways IN to getting your script ideas OUT.

Expect a relaxed, fun and supportive day jam-packed with short, sharp, practical activities, advice and writing exercises to bring your characters, scenes and stories to life. We’ll gain inspiration from sharing ways of working and generating ideas together, and we’ll think about the stories we want to tell, and how our knowledge and life experiences can help us. We’ll also consider the key ingredients of script like character and dialogue, as well as techniques around how to create story arcs and keep an audience on the edge of their seat. You’ll end the day with more insights into local and nationwide opportunities to develop, submit and showcase your writing.

If you’ve ever sat looking blankly at a page, got lost in other people’s writing instead of your own, or disappeared down the Google-research rabbit hole never to be seen again…  this day is for you. All interests and experience levels are welcome.

Photo: Nelly Naylor

Stacey Sampson has been a professional actor since the age of 15, appearing in well-known series such as Luther, The Vice, Coronation Street, Heartbeat and many more, including two series of Bafta award-winning This is England. Her relationship with script stems from this practical place of script-in-action, and she specialises in working collaboratively with young people, communities and theatre companies to create brand new writing for stage and screen.

Stacey’s writing has won the Arvon Award, a Northern Writers’ Award, the Mslexia Novel Competition and gained her a place on the BBC PAF Fellowship and the Arvon-Jerwood Mentoring Scheme. She’s been involved in developing new writers for Sheffield Theatres, Out of Joint, Third Angel, New Writing North and Sky TV. She is currently working on a rap-musical about boxing with Under the Stars, and creation of a show for CAST’s 10th anniversary alongside 60+ youth theatre members.

Top image: Helena Fletcher

Danae Wellington announced as Sheffield Poet Laureate

We are absolutely thrilled for Hive poet, storyteller, teacher, activist and all-round creative star, Danae Wellington, who was announced as the new Sheffield Poet Laureate on Saturday 22nd Oct 2022 in the introduction for her performance with the legendary Linton Kwesi Johnson at October’s Off the Shelf Festival of Words. Previous poet laureate, our very own Warda Yassin,  gave a lovely introduction to her ‘poetry sister’ and said she knew she would do important community work through her role, particularly with young people. Indeed Warda has done amazing work during her time as laureate, particularly with the Mixing Roots programme. 

This was a huge moment in Hive history! Both the laureateship and Danae performing alongside fellow Jamaican poet, the veteran Linton Kwesi Johnson, who has helped shape UK poetry for many years particularly reflecting the social and political experiences of the Jamaican diaspora in Britain. In 2002 Linton Kwesi Johnson, considered the  ‘father of dub poetry’ became only the second living poet and the first black poet to have his work included in Penguin’s Modern Classics.  He was awarded the English PEN Pinter Prize in recognition of his work. In 2022 he celebrates his 70th birthday and 50 years in activism.

Congratulations D\nae. We’re thrilled for you and can’t wait to see what you get up to!

Look How Alive Book Launch

Look How Alive by Lauren Hollingsworth-Smith
Book launch | Dina Sheffield | Date rescheduled TBC | FREE

We’re delighted, Hive young poet, and Rotherham Young Writers alumnus, Lauren Hollingsworth-Smith is launching her first full-length collection Look How Alive (Write Bloody UK) on date TBC at Dina Sheffield. Supporting poets include Iain Whiteley and another (TBC).

DINA is an independent, inclusive and innovative art organisation for Sheffield and beyond and they are delighted to be hosting this free poetry evening to celebrate the launch of Look How Alive, the day after it’s release.

Lauren Hollingsworth-Smith is a poet and artist based in Rotherham and Oxford. She is a member of Hive’s Poetry Collective and The Writing Squad. Lauren’s work has been published in various anthologies including She Will Soar (Pan Macmillan 2020) and Dear Life (Hive 2022). Her debut pamphlet Ugly Bird was a winner of the New Poets Prize 2020. In 2019 she was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year and was highly commended in the Young Northern Writers’ Award. Lauren has performed at various events and festivals, including Ledbury and Kendal Poetry Festivals and Off the Shelf Festival of Words. She studies English and French at Oxford University.

Look How Alive is Lauren’s debut full-length collection (out 1st October 2022)
Ugly Bird is available from The Poetry Business

Elena Barham wins the BBC Young Writers’ Award 2022

A huge congratulations to Barnsley Young Writers alumnus Elena Barham who has won the BBC Young Writers’ Award 2022 at the age of 19. Her winning story, ‘Little Acorns’, set in the 1940s, explores gender, familial relationships, loss and abuse.

Katie Thistleton, chair of judges for BBC Young Writers’ Award, said: “Little Acorns is an incredibly accomplished piece of writing – it’s full of vivid characters, subtlety and intrigue, and it squeezes so much story into so few words.”

Congrats to all five shortlisted young writers (listed below) You can listen to Elena’s winning story (narrated by Sophie McShera from Downton Abbey) and all of the shortlisted here.

  • ‘Dandelions’ by Nabiha Ali, 16, from Lancashire
  • ‘Little Acorns’ by Elena Barham, 19, from Barnsley
  • ‘Bite’ by Emily Betts, 17, from Northamptonshire
  • ‘Peach’ by Eshana Dasanjh, 18, from Leeds
  • ‘The Poltergeist’ by Dora Fidler, 17, from Barnet

The BBC has been organising the Young Writers’ Award with the University of Cambridge for eight years. The challenge encourages young people in the UK aged between 14-18 years to submit stories of up to 1,000 words.

Spit out your Script!

Full | waiting list (get in touch)
Spit out your Script! A Hive Young Writers’ Day
All experience levels welcome | For young people aged 15-25
Saturday 29th Oct | 10.45am to 4/4.15pm
Cantor Building SHU, Arundel Street, Sheffield (5 minutes from the train station)
Cost: £6.50 / £4.50 concessions | booking: info@hivesouthyorkshire.com

Got a great idea for a script, but aren’t sure how to get it onto the page? Or are you seeking inspiration to get started? Perhaps you want tips and tricks for sending your scripts out into the world? Join inspirational Sheffield actor and theatre/screen-writer Stacey Sampson to explore the myriad ways IN to getting your script ideas OUT.

Expect a relaxed, fun and supportive day jam-packed with short, sharp, practical activities, advice and writing exercises to bring your characters, scenes and stories to life. We’ll gain inspiration from sharing ways of working and generating ideas together, and we’ll think about the stories we want to tell, and how our knowledge and life experiences can help us. We’ll also consider the key ingredients of script like character and dialogue, as well as techniques around how to create story arcs and keep an audience on the edge of their seat. You’ll end the day with more insights into local and nationwide opportunities to develop, submit and showcase your writing.

If you’ve ever sat looking blankly at a page, got lost in other people’s writing instead of your own, or disappeared down the Google-research rabbit hole never to be seen again…  this day is for you. All interests and experience levels are welcome.

Photo: Nelly Naylor

Stacey Sampson has been a professional actor since the age of 15, appearing in well-known series such as Luther, The Vice, Coronation Street, Heartbeat and many more, including two series of Bafta award-winning This is England. Her relationship with script stems from this practical place of script-in-action, and she specialises in working collaboratively with young people, communities and theatre companies to create brand new writing for stage and screen.

Stacey’s writing has won the Arvon Award, a Northern Writers’ Award, the Mslexia Novel Competition and gained her a place on the BBC PAF Fellowship and the Arvon-Jerwood Mentoring Scheme. She’s been involved in developing new writers for Sheffield Theatres, Out of Joint, Third Angel, New Writing North and Sky TV. She is currently working on a rap-musical about boxing with Under the Stars, and creation of a show for CAST’s 10th anniversary alongside 60+ youth theatre members.

Top image: Helena Fletcher

Dream Big Book Launch

Hosted by Hive’s The1Devotion, this event launches the latest print anthology of spoken word by Sheffield’s creative voice and influence groups for care-experienced young people aged 7-25 years: Sheffield Children in Care Council (CiCC) and Sheffield Care Leaver’s Union (SCLU).  This second anthology from the groups saw young people once again work with Hive to produce powerful pieces exploring their lives, concerns, thoughts and dreams.

These creative voice and influence groups are spaces where care-experienced children and young people come together to work on projects to express themselves and challenge systems to improve services for themselves and others. At this event they will be sharing their latest anthology of work and they’ll also be sharing their Voice Tapestry, made in collaboration with The Patchwork Garden that will go on to be hung in the Millennium Galleries.

This is an opportunity to see the young people share their book and some readings for the first time and admire their newly created Tapestry.

In partnership with The Children’s Involvement Team, Sheffield City Council and Hive South Yorkshire

Thurs 20 Oct | 4.30pm at Arundel Room, Millennium Gallery, Sheffield
Tickets are available from 30th Sept using the Eventbrite link below:
Dream Big Book Launch Tickets, Thu 20 Oct 2022 at 16:30 | Eventbrite

Image: Peter Martin